How to devise a mixed-methods approach?

mixed-method approach

Table of contents

  1. The value of user research
  2. Research methods
  3. A mixed-methods approach

There are many types of user research. Depending on your needs you can use qualitative, quantitative, generative, or evaluative methods. What about the situation when you want to use several methods? How to combine them? Read the article to find out more.

The value of user research

If you’re not sure what your users need don’t guess, but ask! Doing research will help you understand their needs, goals, and motivations. By knowing them, you will be able to plan your product development better. You’ll make sure that your product is tailored to meet user requirements effectively. Doing research is also valuable when you want to evaluate and improve the user experience. The results can help you gather users’ feedback, identify usability issues and make your product even more intuitive. 

Research methods

There are quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative methods focus on measuring things. The results are based on numbers and comparisons. In contrast, the objective of qualitative methods is to describe things. In these methods, the analysis is based on opinions and feelings expressed in the natural language of participants. We can also divide the research methods into generative and evaluative. If you’re wondering which research method to choose, think about what you’d like to find out. If you want to explore the problem scope and learn about potential users, consider generative research. You can try IDI (in-depth interviews), focus groups, or diary study. If your objective is to validate design decisions think about evaluative research, such as usability testing or A/B testing. 

A mixed-methods approach

What about the situation when you want to mix a few different methods? How to plan the research? Whether to do them simultaneously or one after another? There are various approaches. One of them is ‘Sequential Exploratory Design’ where you start with qualitative insights and then you move on to quantitative study. There is also a ‘Sequential Explanatory Design’ when you start with quantitative research and next use qualitative methods. In both approaches, you analyze the results after each stage. It means that the output of the first stage is the input to the second one. Another approach is ‘Convergent Parallel Design’, where you use qualitative and quantitative methods at the same time, and then combine them. If you want to find out more about other approaches such as ‘Embedded’ or ‘Triangulation’ and their benefits watch the recording of our webinar.

The webinar was conducted by Florian Egger, Ph.D., UX-PM Trainer and Managing Director at Telono (Switzerland), and Mercedes Sanchez, UX-PM Trainer, Founder and principal researcher at MS|UX (Brazil). The whole recording is available for members of the UX-PM Alumni Community. If you have completed at least one level of Certification, you can join here: I’M JOINING.

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